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Job titles for the both of us..

Written on May 31, 2006 by Kevin.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed changes in Rylan and how he sees both me and my wife.

My wife stays home with him all day which means he wakes up looking at her and when he falls asleep at night, there she is. He seems to associate her with comfort and sleep. There are times when Rylan is certainly not in a great mood and when I hold him, I cannot seem to get him calmed down like I used to be able too. When I pass him over to my wife though, he calms down nearly instantly and begins sucking on his thumb. It can certainly be challenging for both of us as there are times when I want to be able to comfort him and I am just not able too any longer.

What is my role you ask? Well, like my fathers, I work all day and when I come home, Rylan is starving for daddy attention time. Everyday I still walk in the door with a great big smile from Rylan. I cannot recall a time where Rylan did not instantly get happy when I walked in the door. My job title would be likely be an event coordinator. I do my best to play with Rylan as long as I am home. This gives Rylan the fatherly love that he needs and my wife a small break.

My wife and I still share one role though. Waste management. I am proud to admit that I have changed about 50% of the diapers in Rylan's life. Is it something that I enjoy, not necessarily but it is part of being a parent.

Bzzing for Babies!

Written on May 30, 2006 by Kevin.

I came across the BzzAgent.com website a few weeks ago from a fellow blogger. I was initially lured in with the idea of receiving free items to try. Turns out they really do send stuff. Not baby related but I received a bunch of the Take 5 candy bars to try out (they are good) and then hand out to family and friends.

A new campaign recently came about that was geared towards new mothers and fathers. Unfortunately they are only taking applications for the Boston and Atlanta areas. While I am not certain if Rylan has any readers from these parts of the woods, I figured it would be a decent opportunity for new parents to try some new products. I am also very interested to see what items they would be trying out as I have really enjoyed reviewing new products myself.

If you are interested in signing up for the baby campaign, feel free to click the image below.

Please understand that I receive no money by you signing up.

Week in Review

Written on May 26, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

What a huge week. First and foremost, last Friday I began crawling. As much as dad thought I would be walking first, I decided to start crawling. Yes I do it at a snail pace but regardless, I'm crawling.

The Disneyland trip was a blast. I got to go on some great rides like the Pinocchio one. I really enjoyed It's a Small World. Dad got the entire ride on camera and even got me looking around at things. I was simply amazed. That tune though, it has got to stop! Mickey Mouse was great. I got so excited when I saw him and then when we sat on the floor, it was like a dream come true. Definitely a Kodak moment. Another character that we got our picture taken with was Pluto. I decided that instead of focusing on the camera that I would tug on Pluto's whisker. Boy I am a funny guy.

We stopped at the beach on the way home from our trip. It was really nice because mommy and daddy got a lot of pictures. I was really excited about it until mom embarrassed me by changing me into my swim trunks in front of everyone. Can't a little boy get some privacy and be changed in somewhere hidden? At that point, I wasn't that thrilled with the whole situation. The water turned cold and that sand is a really really weird in between my little toes. I do think though that I would like to go back again in the future. Daddy has mentioned making sandcastles. I wonder what that is all about.

My grandma is coming to town tonight so that should be a lot of fun. She is spending the weekend at our house so I will get to see her morning and night. What fun! As always, she is going to be amazed at my improvements since her last visit. Now I can sit up, crawl and even stand with the help of some things.

Daddy got his root canal done today so I am going to get back to giving him lots of love. Have a good extended weekend, I know I will!

Another Trip to Disneyland - Part 3

Written on May 24, 2006 by Kevin.

By far, one of the best moments we had this Disneyland trip was when we took Rylan to go see Mickey Mouse. He was in a great mood while we walked through Mickey's house stopping to show him different parts. He really enjoyed looking at himself in the mirror only to be surprised when Mickey was behind it.

We entered into the room where Mickey was at and after all other people took their pictures it was our time. Rylan really seemed to know who Mickey was and showed it by kicking his legs and waving his arms. There was pure excitement on his face. We went with a normal family picture and then Mickey did the unthinkable. He sat down. In fact, he sat down and wanted Rylan to sit down with him. I had simply never heard of a character going this far to please the visitors. Normally characters seem so rush to get as many people greeted as possible. It was really nice to spend that extra moment with Rylan and Mickey. Definitely was a visit that we will never forget.

Another Trip to Disneyland - Part 2

Written on May 23, 2006 by Kevin.

When we decided to make this trip to Disneyland, we knew that the crowds would be much heavier than in January. January has been a great time to go for us the past couple of years as we see lighter crowds and the hours remain long.

As mentioned yesterday, we decided this time that we would take in the Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams and the Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks display. We were really anxious to see Rylan's reactions but all that we got was a sleepy little baby. The fireworks display though was great. They attempt to tie in the fireworks with their popular attractions such as the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Star Tours. It was much better to watch the fireworks in front of the castle rather than other locations of the park. The castle is lit up again to coordinate with the theme at the moment. I would certainly recommend checking this out before their 50th anniversary celebration ends.

While we looked for photo opportunities, we did not get very many unfortunately. It appeared that very few characters were out that day despite it being only about 75F. We did however see characters that are rarely seen such as Daisy Duck and Jessie the cowgirl from Toy Story 2. Why they don't have more characters out is a question that goes through everyones mind atleast once.

Last trip we attempted to bring lunches to help lower the overall cost of the trip. That did not turn out so well though and our sandwiches became flattened. This time we decided to skip that just go with eating at the park. A tip for those with a Disney Visa card, find out where you can get a 10% discount if you use your card. It's not much but every little bit helps. Fruit stands at the park sell many different types of fruit and this still is one of the best deals in the park. Redd Rockett's Pizza Port is where we ate at in the park. My wife enjoyed both the pizza and pasta while I would only consider each of them mediocre.

Another trip to Disneyland

Written on May 22, 2006 by Kevin.

Another successful trip to Disneyland has come and gone. My wife and I had planned on taking Rylan to Disneyland in a few weeks however due to the cooler weather and lighter crowds, we pushed it forward to the other day. The trip to California was pretty easy with Rylan sleeping the majority of the way or otherwise keeping himself occupied.

As before, we understood that some rides would be off limits for us and Rylan but we didn't let that stop us from the big rides this time. My wife and I used the Disneyland child swap pass to make life easier when riding Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. The child swap pass, as mentioned months ago, allows one parent to stand in line and then enjoy the ride. Once they are done, the parent takes care of the child while the other one uses the pass to either go to the front of the line via the exit or atleast gets to use the fast pass line. This was a big help for these 2 rides.

My wife and I have never really sat down to watch the parades or firework displays. We decided that this trip we would take the opportunity to watch them and film them. We were really curious to see how Rylan would react to them as he was thrilled by the fireworks last time. This time however he slept through both of the events. Now an event that blew us away was when Rylan ate an entire banana while waiting for the parade which was followed with a good nap.

Future posts will give a further insight into the trip.

Week in Review

Written on May 19, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Up and down I go. Lately, I have been wanting to show off my skills so I have been standing up a lot in my crib. I guess I do it at the wrong time because mommy is always trying to go back to sleep. I don't like it when mom lays me back down so that I go to sleep.

I have begun a partial crawl lately. I am certainly not fast or effective but its sort of a crawl. I think that I prefer to stand though. Mommy and daddy have been helping me take steps. It is really fun and I think I do pretty darn well at it. Daddy is still confident that I will be walking this time next month. I'm not sure if I will though yet.

Daddy has enlisted me into a secret mission. A mission where I must go to Disneyland and take a bunch of pictures with characters. We are making a trip this weekend to do just that. I heard that my Aunt is going as well so maybe we will see her. I like her a lot. Last time I went, I slept the majority of the time but I think I will be wide awake taking in all of the views. Unfortunately the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is closed down so I won't get to see my fellow buccaneers. I think that we will be able to go on the Haunted Mansion though and I can see the new bride that they put in it. Scary stuff I tell ya.

I think that is it for now. Expect Disneyland photos next week. I will harass my dad to put them up.

Toon Factory DVDs

Written on May 18, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife and I stepped foot into the god forsaken Walmart the other day which brought us upon a bin full of $1 movies. I've seen these types of bins before and generally speaking, they have nothing that my wife or I care for. This time was different however. They had a collection of old cartoons on DVD.

The DVDs were each labeled Toon Factory and had different character cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Casper and even includes a nursery rhymes collection. These are the cartoons from years back now placed onto DVDs. Its brilliant. My wife and I thought this would be a nice addition to our collection of movies that we think Rylan may find interesting. Each DVD contains around 2 hours of cartoons. 2 hours of cartoons for $1? You have got to be kidding me.

We visited other Walmarts hoping to find additional DVDs but had no luck finding any DVDs that came close to this. It appears that they are not selling them at each Walmart store. I am certainly glad we snagged these up when we had the chance.

Another project to take on..

Written on May 16, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife recently was given a sewing machine which immediately triggered things in her head. Imagining all the possible things she could sew Rylan, we got some quilting books.

Her first attempt at quilting turned out great. She created a Toy Story themed quilt for Rylan when he gets a bit older and needs something nice to snuggle up with. The Toy Story print was purchased from a craft store and additional fabric was picked to tie into the theme. It certainly turned out great and is already being used for a good game of peekaboo with Rylan.

I began my pirate themed quilt the other day as well. This may be one of the most expensive projects we have worked on for Rylan. Fabric is certainly not cheap, especially fabric that is pirate themed. We were unable to find any pirate themed fabric here in town so we took a trip to EBay which happened to have some great choices. Overall, the look of the quilt is nice but certainly is not up to the same quality level as my wife's. I have postponed the finishing of the quilt for now but expect pictures sometime in the near future.

I am curious about other peoples experiences. Did you have enough time with your new child to do mini projects such as quilting or redoing a children's table? Are we just really lucky or do people not even do projects for their kids? I am very curious about this.

Review: Seat Chiller

Written on May 15, 2006 by Kevin.

First off let me say thank you to the Kooler Kidz / Baby Dagny company for allowing me to review this product.

It has been hitting over 100F here in Arizona for a few days now. Regardless of your cars window tint or how much shade you have, the car is going to be hot. I mentioned this a few weeks ago and when the inventor for the Seat Chiller contacted me I was amazed and excited to try out a new product, especially one that I know I would get much use out of.

The Seat Chiller works as a cool pack for your child's car seat. The idea is that when your child is not in the seat to have the cooler in place so that when your child does sit down they are not sitting on burning metal or uncomfortable fabric. The bottom line is that it works. In fact, it works really well.

I was excited to try this out when I first got it. I wanted to give it a try right out of the box but as you can imagine, it requires times in the freezer. The unit can be folded up to take up little room in the freezer, this was a big plus. We took it out of the freezer the next day and while getting ready, I went out to the car and put it down on Rylan's car seat. A few minutes later we were ready to take off, so we put Rylan into his new cool car seat after removing the chiller. He was a bit shocked at first because of the coolness but certainly didn't seem to mind it.

The Seat Chiller is impressive. We used it extensively yesterday as we were out the better part of the day. The temperature was around 105F outside and the Seat Chiller remained cool for about 4 hours.

Negatives? I can't seem to find any real negatives about this product. The only problem is trying to remember to put it on the seat when ya take your child out and remembering to keep it in the freezer. Don't we all lose our memory once we have a child? Furthermore, as much fun as it is to watch liquid freeze, it takes time to get the Seat Chiller frozen. The website recommends buying two and I can see why. You always want to be using it and never want to wait for it to freeze again.

I don't see how you can go wrong with this product. It does what it says its going to do, and it does it well. I would highly recommend this product for anyone living in a heated climate.

Week in Review

Written on May 12, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

First off let me say, "Happy Mothers Day". Mommy, I know its a few days early but you have been such a nice mommy to me over the past couple of months, I just couldn't hold it in any longer. Thank you mommy for feeding me in the middle of the night, changing my poopiest of diapers and putting up with me pulling on your hair. I love ya a whole bunch.

Next on the agenda, milestones. This week has been great when it comes to milestones. I have begun to get from a laying down position, onto my butt and then stand up. Daddy was pretty amazed the first time he noticed I was sitting up soon after he laid me into my play area. I shocked them for the rest of the night, it was fun. The cycle is complete now though and with the help of my gated area, I can pull myself up and give my smile of excitement. Mommy and daddy sure seem to get a kick out of it.

My mom and dad continue to go to garage sales and pick up new projects to work on. They are definitely keeping busy with making me things for when I grow older. They haven't finished my Mickey table and chairs though. I can't wait to be able to use it. The last purchase was a couple of chairs that I think they are going to use as my naughty chair. Who says I will be bad? They bought another chair as well, I think its going to be for my sister or brother when someday they come along.

A project that my mom began work on last week and just recently finished up on was a Toy Story themed quilt. She did it all with a sewing machine that she was recently given. It turned out great. Its a great sized quilt blanket for me to carry around when I get older. Dad has also began work on a quilt. His though is much larger and is pirate themed. Oh man is it going to be cool. Its huge too and should work great on my bed someday. I hear that they are planning to make me a pirate room when I get older. Shiver me timbers!

That's all for now. Definitely keep an eye out for the projects my mommy and daddy are working on. They will get posted someday soon I hope.

Alarming News About Ugly Kids

Written on May 10, 2006 by Kevin.

It's hard to think parents could treat an ugly child like this, but they do. Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada have shown that parents are more likely to give better care and pay closer attention to good-looking children compared to unattractive ones.

The above is from a Netscape article that my wife came across. The basis of the article is that parents who have a less than beautiful child tend to treat them differently. They found that parents do not give them the same attention as they would a good-looking child of theirs.

My wife and I were lucky and feel that Rylan was dealt a great hand when it comes to his looks. In fact, we feel overly lucky in regards to everything since he was born. You commonly hear horror stories about young babies but for the most part, Rylan has stayed far from these.

The idea of having another child has been floating around for a while now but in the back of our minds is whether or not we will be as fortunate as we have been with Rylan. Will the next child be able to sleep through the night? Will they be as cute or will they be bratty? As much as you don't want to, these ideas probably pass through each parents minds.

Do you agree with this study? Do you feel that some parents give less attention to their 'ugly' children?

When I was a kid...

Written on May 9, 2006 by Kevin.

Atari 2600When I was growing up, one of the things I remember most was getting my first Nintendo. My parents still have video of me excited on Christmas morning after learning of my new found love. Prior to the Nintendo though, I was an Atari kid. Yes, I played on my Atari 2600 that my dad one day brought home. Games such as Pac Man, Pit Fall and Centipede are embedded into my mind forever.

The family Atari system remained until a few years ago when my father decided to get rid of it. I was quite devastated as I wanted Rylan to enjoy the games that I once did. Years went by and every once in a while I thought about the old Atari system. AJ from thingamababy.com was going on one of his cleaning sprees and he offered me a chance to take a moment back in time and purchase his Atari system. After a hard pressed sale from AJ, I crumbled and purchased the set.

A few days later, the package arrives and I am immediately brought back into the 80s. The blocky joysticks and super big console, what fun. It took a bit but this last week I finally tried out each of the games and I have to say, the games sure are cruddy but it was fun to go back in time. When you know nothing better than an Atari system, it is magic on the screen.

The Atari system was a bit of a gateway drug for me. The Atari system led me to the Nintendo and then to even better units. While a lot of kids may get stuck in front of the TV for hours by themselves, I used to play games with my sisters but most importantly with my mother. We would play for hours trying to beat every different type of game. This is what I want Rylan to experience. I am hoping that the Atari system will allow us to play together with a console that is probably older than I am.

Too many toys?

Written on May 8, 2006 by Kevin.

How many toys is too many? Toys take up 2 things, money and space. There is no doubt that children's toys can be expensive especially seeing as additional money will need to be spent on batteries.

We have been pretty lucky lately and were able to pickup a few nice toys for Rylan at some good prices. Shown in today's photo of the day, he has a stack of toys. A few of these toys were able to be purchased online and in retail stores for atleast half off.

A couple of the items that are not displayed were purchased at garage sales. Rylan's latest addition is an exersaucer type toy. I am pretty certain that it was made before they called them exersaucers but it works for us none the less. After a bit of confirmation that the toy is safe and has no recalls, Rylan now enjoys his latest toy. What was the price you ask? 2 American dollars. Did we need to clean nasty food residue from small cracks? Sure. Will it take up more space than we have room for? Definitely. Was it worth spending the $2? Definitely.

People talk about how expensive babies can be. This was my feeling throughout life as well but with a bit of planning, it can be controlled. Clothes can be purchased at garage sales or on EBay and the same goes for toys. A recall search is a must however.

Week in Review

Written on May 5, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Crawling, who needs to crawl. I'm a big boy and I can walk, well I can atleast stand up with the help of mommy or my toys. I am constantly trying to pull myself up in my crib now. It always gives mom a big smile when I actually do it.

My dad said another dad here in Arizona contacted him and told him that he also has a son around my age. Maybe someday we will meet up and I can show him how to dance or maybe I can teach him how to stand up. I wonder what he could teach me.

Mommy and daddy think I may be going through another growth spurt because I am eating a lot. They are feeding me yummy rice cereal and my mom continues to feed me too. I have been going to bed earlier in the evening now. Rather than my normal bed time of 11pm, I have been slowly going to sleep around 10pm instead. I think that this is because during the day I play and play and really don't nap very much. I like to impress mommy with my great sleeping.

My grandma is coming back to town at the end of the month. It should be great because this time she will be staying at our house. That means that I can play with her all day long. Maybe she will buy me some toys. Speaking of toys, I am beginning to understand how to use my toys. Especially the ones where you need to press buttons for things to happen. I have a long way to go but certainly am making progress.

I think that wraps it up for the week. Until next week, have a good weekend!

Review: Flutterbye Dreams Lullabye Birdies Soother

Written on May 4, 2006 by Kevin.

What can I say about this soother? It has been a huge help since Rylan was born. It's a fact that new parents are going to buy items that the child does not play with or get use out of. On the flip side, there are toys that the child likes so much that you end up spending a small fortune on batteries.

The Flutterbye Dreams Lullabye Birdies Soother has worked out great for us. Every night since Rylan was born, we put him in his crib and turn on the soother. At first, he didn't pay much attention to it but I wanted to condition him to hearing the noise and associating it with sleep so we continued to use it. Slowly, he began to focus on it more and now he really seems to enjoy it. Every night, we continue to put him down and turn on the soother and it really seems to do the job. He sucks his thumb while watching the birds spin around while he falls asleep.

We have been lucky with Rylan in the fact that he has been a great sleeper for us. While I cannot guarantee that this was because of the soother, I can say that it certainly seems to help.

The Flutterbye Dreams Lullabye Birdies Soother uses 4 D batteries. I believe we have needed to swap the batteries twice now in 6+ months. The soother includes a mode in which it projects bird images onto the ceiling. We do not use this mode as it eats up batteries quickly.

This is definitely a product I would recommend and give to someone as a gift. It has certainly worked out great for us.

Summer Heat

Written on May 3, 2006 by Kevin.

The summer heat is quickly approaching here in Arizona. With this, comes a hot car and a bad situation.

Driving around in a car that feels like a sauna on a hot day with temperatures over 100F is never fun. Now with Rylan though, we cannot just take the heat and drink more liquids. We have to make sure that he is not going to melt in back of the car. The question is, how do you do this?

We have 2 cars, both are old and different in many ways. Our main family car is a bit larger and the air conditioning is not the best. While it does blow out cool air, it takes a while and is not that effective. This is made worse with a larger car and how far Rylan is away from the vent. The other car is smaller and with a working air conditioning system. This car seems to cool down more quickly however does not have any window coverings such as tint.

I am very curious to see how other people keep their cars cool so the kids don't melt. The window tint works but only to a point before the heat is just blasted in. The car seat is mainly made of plastic and fabric so a burning situation seems unlikely but when I pull Rylan out of his car seat, I do not want him to feel sweaty.

How do you accomplish this?

Progress comes quickly..

Written on May 1, 2006 by Kevin.

It was just a matter of time before Rylan began standing up in his crib. That day was Friday.

My wife was home the other day and when she turns around to check on Rylan, he is standing up with the help of the crib. It appears that he managed to pull himself up and rest his arm over the crib side which helped anchor him. I imagine that he immediately gave my wife a huge smile in excitement. We planned for this day and lowered his crib so that we don't have to worry about him doing a double back flip out of the crib.

Rylan shows minimal signs of crawling and seems as though he will likely head right towards walking. This is not uncommon it seems and crawling is only a transitional step that many doctors consider unnecessary. He definitely has strong little legs that seem fit for walking.

I can only imagine him taking his first steps. I only hope that I can be there for them and not stuck at work. Luckily my wife has the video camera ready at all times.